Tata Building India School Essay Competition is a Tata group initiative that started off in 2006 with the sole belief that igniting young minds positively would lead to a Happy India.
Beginning in 2006 with 1 lakh students from 240 English medium schools in 6 cities, the Tata Building India School Essay Competition is now into its 6th edition which is set to reach out to 2 million students from 5000 schools in 150 cities and 8 languages, thus making it the largest school essay competition in India.
Tata Building India on Facebook
On December 2010, the essay competition was also launched on Facebook, with the idea being to reach out to the youth. As the competition is open to students from Std VI to Std XII, I think it is a good decision to engage on Facebook as it is the most popular social network among this age group. And with Facebook’s latest change to its minimum permissible age to join the network being brought down from 18 to 13, this also helps the initiative.
Presently, the page has a base of more than 82k fans with the most popular age group being in the 13-17 years (insights provided by Facebook). The cover photo is cheerful, appealing and totally connects to the Building India for a Happy India concept.
I was particularly interested in the content being built to connect with young students. Not only should it be aligned with the objective but also throw in challenges to the young fans within the scope of the objective.
It is interesting to see the various types of content being posted but somehow it all boils down to increasing fan growth rather than talk about the idea behind the essay competition i.e. building a better nation.
The first thing I noticed is the plethora of contests being run regularly on the wall. According to Facebook guidelines, all promotions like contests should be run on a separate tab or app on Facebook, and not on the wall. However, the contest winners are being notified on a ‘contest winners’ tab, which is rightly abiding by the guidelines.
Also, the thought of keeping the readers in mind and why they should be a part of your community, is missing here. Most of the content has scanned pictures and questions around general knowledge and ‘did you know’ facts. Although, it might come across as interesting at first, it starts getting monotonous very soon.
The page has started one more exercise in fan-building. Fans have to invite their friends and family to the page and for those who manage to get maximum number of ‘likes’ for the page will get a chance to visit the Tata Nano factory at Sanand (Gujrat) with one parent.
I am not against building a community as it provides a good scope for engagement but giving away such a good incentive for something not based on skill but your social circle might not be a good idea after all.
The initiative uses the Tata Companies Twitter account, but the strategy is on the similar lines of Facebook – organizing contests or posting content. Nothing wrong in organizing contests but with contests, you can get numbers but not a community that can sustain for long-term. It would have been great if the community was built with the objective of exchanging conversations for building a better network.
It is also surprising that despite the page being about a School Essay Competition, nothing is being talked about it. Other than posting snaps, no major update has been found on the page. Wouldn’t it be great if the page talks about the different kinds of issues taken up in this essays. Chalking out a focus strategy like this would help the initiative otherwise it would pretty much turn into a community of likes with no meaningful dialogue.
Additionally, a mix of content is also required keeping the objective in mind, otherwise it becomes monotonous as mentioned before.
Do you think that Tata Building India should engage only on the basis of contests or they should rethink their social media strategy?